Categories EntertainmentPosted on

The Barbican: The London International Animation Festival 2016

The London International Animation Festival (LIAF 2016) is a comprehensive screening of the best recently released British animation. It returns to the Barbican in December under the direction of Nag Vladermersky, with ten days of forums, screen talks and over 200 of the best new, archived and retrospective animated shorts and features from around the world, starting on Friday, 2nd December.

The London International Animation Festival (LIAF 2016) is a comprehensive screening of the best recently released British animation. It returns to the Barbican in December under the direction of Nag Vladermersky, with ten days of forums, screen talks and over 200 of the best new, archived and retrospective animated shorts and features from around the world, starting on Friday, 2nd December.

LIAF is a great opportunity to take the pulse of the British animation scene, meet many of the filmmakers, hear them talk about their films, ask them questions about their work,
and see the films that take British animation to the world. Mark the dates in your diary: 2nd – 11th December 2016.

Music Land - Wilfred Jackson.
Music Land – Wilfred Jackson.

One of the festival’s highlights is the world premiere of filmmaker Chris Shepherd’s live-action/animation hybrid short film Johnno’s Dead, several years in the making and the sequel to Dad’s Dead. One of the most cherished names in the UK independent animation scene, his work fuses comedy with commentary on the darker side of human nature and his numerous short films have won awards, screening to universal acclaim the world over. Chris Shepherd, a regular LIAF contributor, will open the festival at the Opening Night Gala on the 2nd December. He will also participate in the screen talk after the film, alongside members of the cast and crew, to discuss the making of his latest film.

Among the animated gems that will be screened during LIAF, Momotaro occupies a very special place. Presumed lost until the mid-’80s, Momotaro – Sacred Sailors (Japan, dir. by Mitsuyo Seo) resurfaced on VHS in Japan (and was only available in the West on rare bootlegs). Now freshly restored in a 4K scan of the original 35mm negatives, Mitsuyo Seo’s classic premieres in the Archive section, offering a very rare chance to see a lost masterpiece – looking not a day older than when it was first screened in 1945. Momotaro remains – propagandistic material notwithstanding – a timeless achievement in worldwide animation. It’s nothing less than the birth of anime as we know it.

Momotaro
Momotaro

The classic animation that poured from the Walt Disney Studio during the 1930s and 1940s defined the very history of animation. At LIAF, you will have the rare opportunity to once again experience their beautiful magic, painstakingly restored to their original glory and projected from 35mm and 2K digital prints. The Classic Disney Shorts at LIAF will feature films such as Music Land, a 1935 short film by Wilfred Jackson, considered to be one of the greatest cartoons ever made.

Other films that will be on screen at LIAF are Steve Smith’s A Little Grey, that tells the story of a man’s search through bars, churches, doctors surgeries, tattoo parlours and beyond, but will he find what he’s looking for?

A Little Grey.
A Little Grey.

The Closing Gala, on 10th December, will feature The Best of the Fest: the best films of LIAF 2016, selected by an industry judging panel and audience votes. Over 2,400 new films were entered for LIAF this year and 128 of the best have been selected to screen across 9 International Competition Programmes, including: British Showcase; Into The Dark – Scary Shorts; and New Japanese Shorts – Beyond Anime. Awards for the best film in each competition session, ‘Best British Film’, ‘Best Sound Design’ and the overall ‘Best of the Festival’ will also be announced by the festival director. This chance to see the best films of LIAF 2016 will be repeated on 11th December at 18:00.

Get into the animated mood by watching the LIAF 2016 Trailer, directed by Ed Bulmer of the National Film & Television School (NFTS).

Ann Marie Fleming’s Window Horses will be on screen 11th December in Cinema 2, with Fleming taking part in a screen talk following the premiere. It is a warm and witty film about a young Canadian poet, Rosie, who undergoes a life-changing experience in Iran. The film seamlessly integrates different animation styles to express Rosie’s diverse experiences in an extraordinary tale of art, history, and family. She will be flying from Canada to the LIAF 2016 Closing Gala especially for the Q&A after the screening. Watch Ann Marie Fleming’s Window Horses trailer here:

Check out the full LIAF 2016 programme at the Barbican here.

LIAF 2016
Barbican Cinema
Cinema 2/3 foyer (Beech Street) except Friday 4th December when it is in Cinema 1 foyer (Barbican Centre, level Minus 2)
Silk Street
London
C2Y 8DS

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